LAUSANNE: Legia Warsaw have failed to persuade the Court of Arbitration for Sport to prevent Celtic continuing in the Champions League on Wednesday writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The Polish club had applied for sport’s supreme court to intervene after they were expelled from the competition by European federation UEFA for fielding an ineligible player earlier this month against the Scottish club.
Trouble erupted for the Poles after Legia won the third qualifying round tie 6-1 on aggregate after winning 4-1 at home and then 2-0 in Glasgow.
However they had brought on Bartosz Bereszynski four minutes from the end of the second leg, while he was supposed to be suspended. As a result Celtic were handed a 3-0 ‘walkover’ win for the second leg, taking them through on away goals.
Bereszynski had been sent off for violent conduct against Apollon in the final match of Legia’s Europa League campaign last season. He missed both Legia’s matches against St Patrick’s in the second Champions League qualifying round and also the first leg against Celtic.
However he was not registered with UEFA for the tie against St Patrick’s and competition rules state that a player can serve a suspension only to matches for which he is registered. Hence Bereszynski was breaching his ban by playing against Celtic – even though he played only the last few minutes.
Celtic were reinstated in the competition by UEFA whose appeal committee dismissed an appeal by Legia who then went to CAS. Legia petitioned CAS to reinstate it provisionally in the Champions League matches pending a conclusive judgment.
That plea was rejected by president of the CAS Appeals Arbitration Division and hence cleared Celtic to face Maribor of Slovenia on Wednesday. CAS will then examine Legia’s further claims that no sanctions be imposed on either club or player and that UEFA be ordered to pay a financial compensation to the Polish club.